In last week's 5A, 4A and 3A first-round games and 2A and 1A quarterfinals, home teams dominated, going 28-5. Some of the road victories might have been foreseen – by Highland, South Summit, and perhaps Cedar, for example. But Syracuse, holding Alta to just 10 points and eliminating a team many anticipated would be a 5A finalist, and Westlake, surprising 2010 runner-up Mountain Crest 23-14, were unexpected.
It marked Alta's second straight loss at home in the first round and the first time a No. 1 seed in Class 5A has lost in the first round since 2005.
Several games last week were blowouts with over half, 20, decided by at least a three-touchdown margin. The closest was Olympus' five-point win over Box Elder, one of just three battles determined by a touchdown or less.
The average score of the 33 games was 37.1-14.0.
Games this week matching teams with the best-combined records: San Juan (10-0) vs. Millard (8-2), Northridge (8-3) at Lone Peak (11-0) and Highland (7-3) at Logan (11-0). Tournament team still alive with a losing record: Westlake (4-6).
In every classification except for 4A, at least three of the four schools that made the semifinals last year are still in the playoffs, and in 5A, all four – Bingham, Fremont, Jordan and Lone Peak remain alive. In 4A, Bountiful and Highland are still playing while Mountain Crest and Springville have been dispatched.
Stansbury and Westlake appear in the quarterfinal round for the first time while Layton Christian makes its first-ever semifinal contest. West, meanwhile, has advanced past the first round for the first time since 1997. Viewmont hasn't been in the quarterfinals since 2003 and Grantsville and Olympus, since 2005.
On the other hand, Cottonwood failed to get to the quarterfinal round for the first time since 2003 and Mountain Crest missed for the first time in five years.
First-time meetings: (5A) Syracuse at West, (3A) Desert Hills at Stansbury and Spanish Fork at Juan Diego.
Four of this week's 16 games are reprises from earlier in the season (Timpview-Westlake, Manti-South Summit, Duchesne-Rich and Monticello-LCA). Another six contests pit teams that haven't met since at least 2008.
5A Quarterfinals (five teams repeat from last year – Syracuse, Viewmont and West are new.)
Fremont (8-2) vs. Bingham (9-2)
Series history: Bingham leads 7-3.
Last meeting: Bingham, 30-7 on Nov. 19, 2010 in the 5A championship at the U.
Coach vs. Coach: Bingham's Dave Peck is 2-0 vs. Fremont's Kory Bosgeiter.
Current winning streaks: Fremont 6, Bingham 4.
Fremont's last quarterfinal: 2010, defeated Skyline at home and eventually advanced to the 5A finals. The Silver Wolves are in the quarterfinals for the eighth time in 11 years.
Bingham's last quarterfinal: 2010, eliminated Northridge at home en route to its second straight 5A title and third in five years. The Miners are in the quarterfinals for a school-record eighth consecutive year and attempting to move on to the semis for the sixth year in a row. A victory would guarantee Bingham its seventh straight double-digit win season.
Fremont's home playoff record: 13-1 (lost to Alta in the 2005 quarterfinals).
West (6-5) vs. Syracuse (7-3)
Series history and Coach vs. Coach, Syracuse's Russ Jones and West's Justin Spencer: First meeting.
Current winning streaks: Syracuse 2, West 2.